Mid-Western companies were advised at our recent GDPR Breakfast Briefing that there is still an opportunity to finalise their GDPR compliance strategies before 25th May 2018 – but that time is starting to run out.
HOMS Solicitors and Willis Towers Watson hosted a joint Mid-Western GDPR Breakfast Briefing at the Strand Hotel on Thursday 15th March and the 120 attendees were advised of the steps that needed to be taken to avoid the prospect of data breaches, fines and compensation claims arising. Those in attendance included high level representatives from the public sector, third level educational institutions, large corporate and retail entities, construction companies and financial institutions.
Harry Fehily, Managing Partner, opened the conference and touched upon the importance for all present of handling clients’ personal data with increasing care. The first speaker, Michael Murphy, Senior Associate, outlined the ‘what, when and how’ of the GDPR, using the metaphor of personal data being akin to money and highlighting how companies were now required by the GDPR to act in a similar way to banks when dealing with client funds. He explained the importance of awareness, accountability and auditing and set out the practical steps that would help to achieve GDPR compliance in good time. Michael pointed out that the GDPR could be viewed as an opportunity by companies, if implemented correctly, rather than as a potential crisis.
Seamus Carroll of the Department of Justice explained the background to the enactment of the GDPR and the ongoing drafting work surrounding the Data Protection Bill. He explained the various ways in which personal data could be processed in accordance with the GDPR including the enhanced consent process and the principle of legitimate interest. He emphasised the enhanced rights that data subjects would enjoy under the GDPR and that GDPR compliance would be an ongoing process given the nature of the digital world we live in. Finally, Susan Cavanagh of Willis Towers Watson presented on the importance of cyber insurance as part of an effective GDPR action plan and the advantages of such policies in view of the potentially onerous fines regime.
The event was met with a very positive reception by those in attendance. There was a lively questions and answers session whilst the speakers also fielded queries on a one-to-one basis afterwards.
If you would like further details on the presentations delivered, please do not hesitate to contact Maria Gleeson in HOMS at [email protected] or Donal Murray in Willis Towers Watson at [email protected].